Category Archives: Resources

Must See Documentaries About India

10947238_10155114359680367_6919900311834592174_nIt’s Friday, which means it’s movie night! Instead of scrolling through Netflix for hours (I can’t be the only one) try scrolling through this list of amazing documentaries.

Even after traveling to India, there are so many mysteries about the country, and many heartbreaking truths that aren’t immediately observable.

Take a look at these documentaries if you want to learn more about in life in India for women, and for people living in poverty.

India’s Daughter. This documentary (which was actually banned in India) tells the story of Jyoti Singh. Johti was a young, Indian physiotherapy student who was tragically murdered. You can watch this film for free here:

Gulabi Gang. A group of women name themselves the Gulabi Gang and fight against gender discrimination, caste oppression, and widespread corruption. If you are interested in the Gulabi Gang also watch this short vice episode on HBO about corruption, rape, and the Gulabi Gang in India.

Poverty, Inc.  Many fighting poverty have their heart in the right place, but is what they are doing really helping impoverish nations to be sustainable? Or is it in fact destroying that nations economy?  Watch the trailer here:

Hit the Road India. This travel documentary follows the adventure of two American friends from Mumbai to Chennai… wait for it… driving in rickshaws! You can rent this film online here:

It’s a Girl.  In India, and many other parts of the world today, girls are killed, aborted and abandoned simply because they are girls. “Gendercide” is very real today. Girls who survive are often neglected their whole life. Watch online for free here:

On Thursday, March 26th thisvillage is hosting our Indian dinner fundraiser! Come out and help us raise money to create a sustainable future for the widows of Bandanpally, India. Buy Tickets

— Julia Kutyn


Recommended Reading


(Image source.)

Of the four founders of thisvillage, I am the only person who didn’t study development or politics when I went to university. In fact, I studied English and History; subjects that aren’t terribly relevant to alleviating poverty in rural India.

Somewhat predictably, one of the ways I learn best is by reading and doing research. That said, I’ve come up with a short list of recommended reading if you’re interested in development, poverty and/or life in India. So, in no particular order…

Behind the Beautiful Forevers – Katherine Boo: A non-fiction account of the lives of people living in Annawadi, a Mumbai slum. Reads like fiction, but is an excellent and respectful portrait of the people in the slum.

Half the Sky – Nicholas D. Kristoff and Sheryl Wu Dunn: This is a great primer about women in the developing world. Its broad, accessible, but heartbreaking if you’re new to the issues that women face across the globe.

Interpreter of Maladies – Jhumpa Lahiri: I confess that I haven’t read this Pullitzer Prize-winning collection of short stories, but everything I’ve heard about it is excellent.

This article about ‘voluntourism’, and how to know how you can best serve marginalized people. Hint: it might not be building a library when you’re a teenager.

The End of Poverty – Jeffrey D. Sachs: A long but worthwhile read about the value of foreign aid. Sachs is an economist, which means this is a great read if you really want numbers and facts about poverty alleviation.

Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger – Ronald J. Sider: Has a bit of a narrower audience, but still provides a really helpful explanation of the justice (or, rather, injustice) of distribution of wealth in the world. A worthwhile read regardless of your faith identifcation.

This article about the federal election that just started in India. The first round of polling was on April 7th, and votes will be counted on May 16th. BBC News India gives a really helpful breakdown of the (complicated) electoral process in India.

Anyone have further recommendations? We’d love to hear your suggestions!

— Christie Esau